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Television and radio programme reviews, trailers, highlights, twilights and cinema news. Also the neglected gems from years past.

Turkmenistan TV’s Watan Habarlary is the most in-depth news show ever made

Watan Habarlary

Turkmenistan’s Watan Habarlary TV might be the most in-depth news show broadcast on TV. Produced by the state, the show’smain focus is the thoughts of President of Turkmenistan, Supreme commander-in-Chief of the country’s Armed Forces, General of the Army Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

One highlight of the video below begins around the 6 minute mark. The cutaways between standing soldiers writing in notebooks and seated Berdimuhamedov are likely to make your head spin.

Posted: 17th, February 2021 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Tom Waits & Cookie Monster mashup – sing God’s Away On Business

YouTuber cookiewaits has created this terrific mashup of Tom Waits and Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster singing God’s Away On Business. The singer and cookie enthusiast do sound remarkably alike.

Posted: 12th, February 2021 | In: Music, TV & Radio | Comment


Hilaria Baldwin and Phoebe – life mirrors 30 Rock?

Hilaria Baldwin 30 Rock

Hilaria Baldwin, née Hillary Hayward-Thomas, is a celebrity, yoga instructor and the current Mrs Alec Baldwin, star of TV’s 30 Rock. She is accused of creating a fake Spanish heritage.

She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and appears to have attended school in the state. But, as reported widely, a now deleted bio on her management’s website said that she was born on the Spanish island of Mallorca. As the BBC notes: “She also previously claimed in an interview that she did not move to the United States until she was 19 to attend university in New York.” Page Six adds: “Her 2016 interview with Hola! magazine also stated: ‘Hilaria, who was born in Spain, has made certain to raise her children with her native language, Spanish.'”

In this video, Hilaria Baldwin seems to forget the English word for cucumber, something many of us (vegetarians included) have done.

Hilaria goes on the record. In a long video on Instagram, Hilaria Baldwin says she was born in Boston, but was partly raised in Spain.

“I’ve seen chatter online questioning my identity and culture. This is something I take very seriously, and for those who are asking – I’ll reiterate my story, as I’ve done many times before. I was born in Boston and grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain. My parents and sibling live in Spain and I chose to live here, in the USA. We celebrate both cultures in our home – Alec and I are raising our children bilingual, just as I was raised.”

Both her parents appear to be American with pretty deep roots – Dr. Kathryn Hayword and David Thomas moved to Mallorca in 2011. Vanity Fair adds: The obituary for Hilaria’s paternal grandfather, David Thomas Sr., also states that his “family presence in that part of Vermont pre-dated the American Revolution.”

Creative Commons – ‘Hilaria Thomas at the Tony Bennet Birthday Gala 2011 – by Joella Marano’

And the name Hilaria? She says she was called Hillary in the US and Hilaria in Spain. She opted for “consolidating” under Hilaria – but will answer to both, adding:

“I care because my thing is about being authentic and then if people say I’m not being authentic, it hurts my feelings…I don’t really understand why it’s turning into such a big thing…I’m getting attacked for being who I am…people wanting to label me Spanish or America, can’t it be both? It’s frustrating that is my story.”

It’s all more than a bit ridiculous. She can call herself whatever she pleases and talk however she likes. More’s the pity Hilaria didn’t respond to accusations of cultural appropriation’ by wearing a Fez and speaking in a rich Scouse accent.

And it might be nothing like a scene in 30 Rock when Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) falls for Phoebe (Emily Mortimer). In one scene, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) confronts Phoebe:

Phoebe : You know how John Lennon was better than the rest of the Beatles, but didn’t realize it until he met Yoko Ono? Well, I’m Jack’s Yoko.

Liz Lemon : You want to be Yoko?

Phoebe : This is none of your business, anyway. I’m marrying Jack. He’s everything I ever wanted.

Liz Lemon : Oh, I bet he is.

Phoebe : [in American accent] You don’t know anything about me, so back off!

Liz Lemon : What happened to your accent?

Phoebe : [back to British accent] Um, I don’t know what you’re on about. You daft wanker!

Image: Creative Commons / Wikipedia by Joella Marano

Posted: 29th, December 2020 | In: Celebrities, Hello!, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Video: When French Resistance fighter Colette Marin-Catherine went to a German death camp

Video: When French Resistance fighter Colette Marin-Catherine went to a Germany death camp

This is worth your time. Colette Marin-Catherine was 90 when she paid a visit to a German concentration camp where her brother, Jean-Pierre Catherine, was murdered. A former fighter with the French resistance, Collette had never wanted to visit Germany. But then a history student named Lucie opens the way…

Posted: 20th, December 2020 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


This is lovely: 91-year-old British man gives a great TV interview after receiving Covid vaccination in London

A 91-year-old London grandfather spoke beautifully to a CNN reporter after receiving the Covid-19 vaccination at Guys Hospital. “There’s no point in dying now when I’ve lived this long, is there?” he mused. After a “nasty lunch” and trouble finding a place to park his car, the man got his dose.

  • There is no footage of our hero then whipping off his jacket, screaming “I AM IMMORTAL!” before heading off to find his car and the fastest route to Ibiza.

Posted: 9th, December 2020 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Watch Sassy Justice, a Deepfake satire from the makers of South Park

Fred Sassy of Sassy Justice is here to delve deep into deep fakes. Created by South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Fred Sassy takes on the role of “consumer advocate” for the people of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Fred sassy sassy justice

Fred Sassy is based on Sassy Trump, created by Peter Serafinowicz. There was talk of a film collaboration. But Fred Sassy is now on YouTube.

Check it out the playlist. Look out for deepfake Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg, Julie Andrews, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump,and Donald Trump.

Sassy:

Spotter: MIT Technology Review

Posted: 17th, November 2020 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Brilliant trippy Hanna-Barbera anti-drug PSA, ca. 1970 by Art Babbitt

Incredible psychedelic Hanna-Barbera anti-drug PSA, ca. 1970. The ad was created by Art Babbitt – he’d developed Goofy during his time at Disney.

Arthur Harold Babitsky (October 8, 1907 – March 4, 1992), better known as Art Babbitt, was an American animator, best known for his work at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He received over 80 awards as an animation director and animator, and also developed the character of Goofy. Babbitt worked as an animator or animation director on films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Dumbo, among others.

Posted: 12th, November 2020 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Watch Noel Edmonds being Alan Partridge as Keith Chegwin glimpses the oblivion

Noel Edmonds being more Alan Partridge than Alan Partridge is remarkable TV. Stay tuned for the closing shot as Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin’s soul departs.

Posted: 19th, October 2020 | In: Celebrities, TV & Radio | Comment


Life Apes Friday Night Dinner: Zach Margolin and Josie Singer’s Covid Christmas advert

Zach Margolin says he has “got this year’s Christmas advert figured out.” He’s videoed his grandmother Josie Singer counting down the days til Christmas. Covid-19 has left her alone. She wants to see her loved ones.

It’s a fun advert with a neat take on the end that makes us all feel warm and fuzzy.

And it reminds us of that scene in Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper’s hit TV show about a Jewish family who, like Josie, live in north west London. (Full disclosure: me too.) Do Jews celebrate Christmas? Is that a Christmas Tree or a Channukah Bush in the lounge? Isn’t Christmas, you know, just nice?

Happy Christmas!

Posted: 13th, October 2020 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


BBC News broadcasts Boris Johnson and other British tits

The chef was on the BBC News show to talk bout Covid-19 and the Government’s ham-fisted, half-arsed attempts to contain it and let us get on with our lives. Behind him a chart of “British Tits” – Great Tits, Blue Tits, Boris Johnson and more…

Spotter: Mike Harris

Posted: 30th, September 2020 | In: Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Akaal Channel 770 has the world’s best Green Screen

On the Akaal Channel – 770 on your Sky Remote – the Breakfast Show features a truly excellent green screen. No room for the Empire State Building but we think the Spanish Steps are just behind Birmingham’s Selfridges department store.

Spotter: Robert Popper

Posted: 7th, September 2020 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Dead man comes back to life and win Lottery twice

In 1999 Bill Morgan, 37, suffered a heart attack and was pronounced clinically dead. Having narrowly survived a car crash, Bill was given emergency drugs which triggered an extreme allergic reaction causing his heart to stop. Medics pronounced him clinically dead. But after 14 minutes of inaction, Bill’s heart restarted. But he was now in a coma. Twelve days later Bill came round. The better news was that everything was working properly. He’d made an incredible recovery. And then luck struck. Bill won a car on the the lottery. Great news.

Lottery winner coma

Local TV got wind of Bill’s story and invited to him to relive the moment when he bought the ticket and won the car. So off Bill went to the shop with the TV crew in tow. He’d show them how he’d bought the ticket and won the car – a useful asset to a man living in a caravan. The cameras rolled. Bill played along. He bought a new ticket. And checked the numbers. “I just won 250,000,” said Bill. “I am not joking. I just won 250,000. Please don’t film me.”I don’t believe this is happening. I think I will have another heart attack. Oh gosh!”

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 13th, August 2020 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment


BBC Breakfast turns migrants Channel crossing into a would-be snuff movie

Where were you when the BBC was on a boat in the English Channel watching migrants trying to stop their rubber dingy from sinking? You might have seen the BBC’s tweet and a short video of its report:

Simon Jones, our man on the scene (in a bigger, dryer boat), talked us through the drama on a “choppy” sea. The migrants were using a plastic container to try to bail out the boat. Faced with people in a “dangerous” situation, what did the man in the bigger, dryer, safer boat do? Yes: he shouted: “Are you ok?” That was after “spotting” (aka looking for and finding) the migrants half an hour earlier, and, presumably, staying close to them.

The BBC’s bloke went full sailing regatta and asked them, “Are you all right?” He then gave them a thumbs up. Not an old Roman Emperor’s signal for them to be spared death at the circus, but an attempt to get some kind of reaction. Jones then asked them where they were from?; “How many people” (on the boat?; under the boat?; fallen from the boat?); and “Where do you want to go?” Not one wag replied ‘Your house” or “Mars”, settling instead on Dover.

Stay tuned for when one boat carrying migrants is capsized by the wash from a TV crew’s launch, and a reporter can lower their voice and talk about a ‘tragedy’.

Posted: 11th, August 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Watch: Donald Tump is brilliant in the US version of The Thick Of It

Donald Trump’s schtick as a US President in the style of The Thick of It is brilliant.

The journalist is played by Axios National Political Correspondent, Jonathan Swan, Jonathan Swan.

trump swan

Transcript:

Trump: “Here’s one. Well, right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world.”

Swan: “Lower than the world?”

Trump: “Lower than Europe.”

Swan: “In what? In what?”

Swan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than Germany, South Korea, et cetera.”

Trump: “You can’t – you can’t do that.”

Swan: “Why can’t I do that?”

Trump: “You have to go by, you have to go by – look. Here is the United States – you have to go by the cases. The cases of death.”

Swan: “Why not as a proportion of population?”

Trump: “What it says is when you have somebody, where there’s a case, the people that live from those cases.”

Swan: “Sure. It’s surely a relevant statistic to say if the US has X population and X percentage of death of that population, opposed to some-”

Trump: “No, because you have to go by the cases.”

Swan: “In South Korea, for example – 51 million population, 300 deaths. It’s like, it’s crazy compared to other countries.”

Trump: “You don’t know that. You don’t know that.”

Swan: “I do. You think they’re faking their statistics? South Korea?”

Trump: “Ahhhhh, I won’t get into that, because I have a very good relationship with the country. But you don’t know that. They have spikes.”

Swan: “Germany, low 9000s?”

Trump: “Here’s one right here, United States. The number of cases – have a look. We’re last. Meaning we’re first.”

Mr Trump was brandishing another chart at this point.

Swan: “Last? I don’t know what we’re first in.”

Trump: “Take a look, it’s cases. And we have cases because of the testing.”

Swan: “I mean, a thousand Americans are dying a day. But I understand, on cases, it’s different.”

Trump: “No but you’re not reporting it correctly, Jonathan.”

Swan: “I think I am.”

Curtains.

Posted: 4th, August 2020 | In: Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Jane Elliott of Riceville, Iowa: The blue eyes v brown eyes racism experiment

One day after Martin Luther King Junior was murdered, Jane Elliott, a teacher in Riceville, Iowa, wanted to illustrate the perils of prejudice to her class. On April 5, 1968, Jane split here class of third-graders into colour lines. Children were split into two group: the blue-eyed versus the brown-eyed. One day the brown-eyed children got special privileges; the next day it was the turn of the blue-eyed children.

Wind the clock on and Jane Elliott is talking with Jimmy Fallon, the curretn Tonight Show hots. “I didn’t know how this exercise would work,” says Elliott. “If I had known how it would work, I probably wouldn’t have done it. If I had known that, after I did that exercise, I lost all my friends, no teacher would speak to me where they could be seen speaking to me, because it wasn’t good politics to be seen talking to the town’s only ‘N-word lover.'”

You can see the class in the 1970 television documentary The Eye of the Storm:

via Boing Boing

Posted: 12th, June 2020 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


‘Good on her’: Australian TV host praises the white twin over the black twin of mixed-race parents

Maria and Lucy Aylmer from Gloucester, UK, are twins. “Good on her,” says the TV host as she appraises Lucy’s fair skin. Non-identical twins are not identical is not a news story. But these two are because when one is whiter skinned and one darker skinned, the world can be different place for each of them.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment


Fake news: BBC broke rules in stating that Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules

Cummings Maitlis

Last Tuesday’s edition of BBC’s Newsnight kicked off with presenter Emily Maitlis telling viewers: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot.” Boris Johnson’s aide had broken the rules on lockdown by travelling from London to County Durham, said the impartial BBC. For added oomph, the audience was told that the “public mood” was “one of fury, contempt and anguish”. Cummings had made us “feel like fools”.

And there was more. Maitlis went on: “The prime minister knows all this. But despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it. Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10.”

Problem was that the BBC’s facts were just the BBC’s opinion, which it has sought to clarify in the following statement: “While we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme. As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality.”

Disappointing stuff. Biased news is fake news. Eat yer heart out, Twitter.

Transcript of Newsnight monologue:

“Good evening, Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it’s shocked the Government cannot. The longer minister and the Prime Minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

“He was the man remember who always got the public mood – who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now – one of fury contempt and anguish. He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools and has allowed many more to presume they can now flout them.

“The Prime Minister knows all this but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.”

Why not let the facts speak and the people, the very ones Newsnight says are angry, make up their own minds? Does the BBC not trust it’s own audience?

Posted: 27th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Ofcom treats people as idiots by censoring the Covid-19 conspiracy theorists

Media regulator Ofcom has ruled that London Live TV broke broadcasting rules and posed “significant harm to viewers in London during the pandemic” by broadcasting a long interview with David Icke. Ofcom also issued guidance to ITV over Eamonn Holmes’ comments.

Icke is the know-all who says the world is run by reptiles, the royal family are lizards, there’s a “link between 5G and this health crisis” and that making us take vaccinations to combat the Covid-19 bug is an act of fascism that gives the State the chance to pump us full of microchips. Holmes is the daytime telly presenter who cast doubt on media reports refuting the myth that 5G causes the virus “when they don’t know it’s not true”.

What harm you think these people do is dependent on your view of the people who might hear them speak. Ofcom thinks you’re all fools who hear Icke and Holmes and nod along in agreement. If the former BBC sports reporter and Hereford United FC goalie (Icke) says Her Majesty can lick her own eyeballs, it must be true. If between segments on this season’s must-have toaster and dating apps for dogs Holmes can give us a word to the wise about Covid-19 and telecommunications, we’ll be burning down phone masts quicker than he whip out his diploma on things from the Dublin College of Business Studies.

Don’t censor them. It makes it look as though we take them seriously. We don’t. They are mildly entertaining distractions who you’d take the stairs to avoid meeting in a lift.

Posted: 20th, April 2020 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


DVD of Seinfeld bloopers found at flea market

DVD of Seinfeld bloopers found at flea market

“I found this DVD of Seinfeld bloopers at a flea market,” writes Jon Lott. “It had a clearly homemade DVD cover, and an unmarked DVD inside. The video quality is pretty lousy, but most of these bloopers didn’t make into the official Seinfeld DVD blooper reels.”

Spotter: Boing Boing , Flashbak

Posted: 27th, March 2020 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Coronavirus: Daily Mail wants to isolate GMB presenter Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid

The Daily Mail is hot on news and more news on the Coronavirus. It’s worried about the wellbeing of the aged (its readers). So the front page carries sage advice: “We CAN show mums out love this Sunday by self-isolating Susanna Reid.” Tough on her. But hard to argue with.

Posted: 19th, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, TV & Radio | Comment


Coronavirus: Fox News debates the unknown knowns and known unknowns

Coronavirus has placed the UK on a war footing – and we all know what war is good for: yep – hours and hours of strident to deadline punditry. Every nodding head who knew all about politics and Brexit is now an authority on the Covid-19 crisis. In this video the Washington Post highlights the bullshit.com-ery of Fox News, whose pundit know one thing and that thing is always true fact. You can wonder, of course, why the WaPo is bothering to tell its readers why something they most likely don’t watch is rubbish – maybe it helps shore up notions of what their news outlet isn’t and maybe is.

The Washington Post says:

For weeks, some of Fox News’s most popular hosts downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, characterizing it as a conspiracy by media organizations and Democrats to undermine President Trump.

Fox News personalities such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham accused the news media of whipping up “mass hysteria” and being “panic pushers.” Fox Business host Trish Regan called the alleged media-Democratic alliance “yet another attempt to impeach the president.”

Back here in the UK, we’d had one thing reaffirmed: people all live in society. Do we try to mitigate the virus or suppression? Do we allow people to think for themselves, pay heed to official information channels and leave the to-deadline media to veer between calling it a hoax and trailing the apocalypse.

Posted: 19th, March 2020 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Rebecca Long-Bailey and anti-semitism: I’m a victim too!

Rebecca-Long Bailey, aka Corbyn II, is the Labour MP who saw the electorate send her party to their worst defeat since 1935 and gave leader Jeremy Corbyn 10/10 for his work. But she is not Corbyn II. No siree. She for one will call out anti-semitism when she sees it, whether it be on Press TV, a wall in East London or amongst her ‘friends’. Well, so says (not) Corbyn II as she bids to become the Labour Party’s next leader:

That clip made it on to the Andrew Neil show:

Rebecca Long-Bailey: not a Jew.

Posted: 4th, March 2020 | In: News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Male daytime TV star shocks world: I’m not gay

Phillip Schofield gay

Newspapers are full of news that daytime TV presenter Phillip Schofield is gay. “I’m gay, I’m proud, and I love my incredible wife” says the Sun, reflecting how Schofield broke the news to viewers of ITV’s This Morning, the show he presents. As the show broadcast other segments – Bear Can’t Find Toilet In Woods – Is Austerity to Blame?; Kate Price: Why I Sleep On My Back; When Will Ruby Union Come Out? – we read of other celebrities rooting for Schofield. Ant and Dec sent their “huge respect and admiration”. David Walliams dreams of living in a world where people can “just be who they are”. Dermot O’Leary says Schofield has “the heart of a lion”.

What of Mrs Schofield, you wonder, good old Phil’s wife of over 20 years? In the Telegraph, Sara Wilson notes: “It may be a weight off his shoulders but it will go straight on to the shoulders of his wife.” “You doubt everything you’ve ever believed in your life,” says one woman to the BBC. She found out her husband was gay six years ago.

Said no-one: Maybe one day other TV presenters will be brave enough to come out as straight.

Posted: 8th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, News, TV & Radio | Comment


The haunting opening credits to the Jimmy Greaves chat show (1988)

In 1988, Central TV hired former England footballer Jimmy Greaves to front a chatshow. The intro was interesting:

Jimmy featured “surprise guests” and a weekly progress report from Frank Bruno’s training camp. In February 1989, Bruno challenged Mike Tyson for the undisputed world heavyweight title. Bruno lost in three rounds. Jimmy lasted not much longer.

Posted: 6th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Sports, TV & Radio | Comment


BBC shortchange women : Samira Ahmed wins £700,000 backpay

Hold your ire about what the Royals cost, and know that the BBC have been forced by law to hand one its presenters, Samira Ahmed, £700,000 in backpay in a discrimination equal pay case.

Ahmed (female; £440 per episode) claimed she was underpaid for hosting audience write-in show Newswatch when compared with Jeremy Vine (male; £3,000 per episode)) who earned shedloads more for hosting audience write-in show Points of View. The Beeb said he gets more because he’s more widely known and so gets picked to present a more widely-watched show.

The judgment ruled: “Her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine’s work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010… [the BBC] has not shown that the difference in pay was because of a material factor which did not involve subjecting the claimant [Ahmed] to sex discrimination”.

The BBC goes on the record: “We’ll need to consider this judgment carefully. We know tribunals are never a pleasant experience for anyone involved. We want to work together with Samira to move on in a positive way.”

Or to put it another way: the BBC made her sweat, spunked a load of cash on lawyers and then lost. And you, the licence-fee payer, funded it. Now wait for Samira’s predecessor, a man, to ask for his backpay. And the rest of us can wonder why Vine was paid so much.

Posted: 10th, January 2020 | In: Money, News, TV & Radio | Comment